Motown legends and influential entertainment icons gathered yesterday (9/25) in Beverly Hills for the 30th annual Heroes and Legends Awards (HAL), also known as the Motown label’s informal “family reunion.” The star-studded event saw Motown founder Berry Gordy and Stevie Wonder attend, along with singer Toni Basil, Doug E. Fresh, and many more to celebrate the evening honorees.
Launched in 1990 by Janie Bradford, songwriter and former secretary for Motown Records, the HAL Awards marked their final ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel and featured performances and appearances from some of Motown’s finest including, Grammy-Award-winning singer Billy Vera, Martha Reeves of Martha and the Vandellas, Claudette Robinson of The Miracles, Thelma Houston, R&B group Honey Cone, former Tower of Power frontman Lenny Williams, Duke Fakir of The Four Tops, and many more.
This year’s HAL Awards were hosted by actress Jo Marie Payton, well known for her role as Harriette Winslow on the sitcom Family Matters.
Rapper Doug E. Fresh, Toni Basil, and industry veteran Sujata Murthy of Universal Music Enterprises (UMe) were among the list of this year’s HAL Award Honorees, taking home the HAL Pioneer Award, the HAL Trailblazer Award, and HAL Cornerstone Award, respectively.
Murthy, who serves as the Executive Vice President of Media & Artist relations at UMe reflected on her immense gratitude for the love she received from Motown over the years. As she accepted her award, she spoke about how “as a woman of color, it’s rare to be seen in this industry, but Motown always made me feel seen.”
She also thanked President and CEO of UMe, Bruce Resnikoff, who was also in attendance, “Thank you for continuing to make me feel seen.”
Other highlights included singer Sondra “Blinky” Williams reprising her hit, the theme to Good Times.
The night concluded with a special tribute to the Chairman and Founder of Motown, Berry Gordy, with a performance of “Motown Company Song” with everybody joining in.